Inquest hears Appleby man accidentally overdosed on painkillers

A 40-YEAR-OLD Appleby man died after accidentally overdosing on painkillers he was taking after suffering a stroke, an inquest heard.

Joseph Idle may have been dead for up to five days when he was found at his home by a friend on June 26 this year.

The inquest was told Mr Idle also suffered fractured ribs and small injuries to the chest as he ‘staggered around’ his house after taking too many of the prescription pills.

Doctors prescribed Tramadol for Mr Idle after he had a stroke while in Thailand in 2010.

His friend Stuart Dargue, of Carlisle, described his ‘amazing recovery’ over the next three years, to the point where “he was a little bit unsteady but was able to drive again and had got his energy and enthusiasm back.”

Mr Dargue said he spoke to Mr Idle every two or three days, but was unable to contact him on the phone after June 20 – six days before he discovered him dead at his home.

Mr Dargue also described calling an ambulance but said Mr Idle was ‘beyond help’ when paramedics arrived.

PC Mark Lovick, who attended the scene, said there were signs of disturbance in the house, indicating Mr Idle had fallen over several times, and confirmed that there were still some Tramadol tablets left in the packet.

Coroner Ian Smith: “I do not believe that this was a deliberate overdose – if somebody intends to kill themselves they quite often empty the packet.

“Mr Idle may have got confused and couldn’t remember how many he’d taken – he managed to overdose on the Tramadol he was taking and staggered around in his property.

“He fell a few times and suffered some fractured ribs in one of those falls, indicating someone who is not well and whose balance isn’t perfect and walks into things easily.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Smith added: “The cause of death is not the injuries but the overdose of Tramadol – his body went into a deep sleep from which he didn’t wake up.”

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